Why do we hate our bodies? On the surface it's a simple answer typically having something to do with being "too fat" or "too thin". We usually leave it at that and choose not to lean into the answer to that question any further.
So I'll ask it again. Why do we hate our bodies?
To answer that question we need to have an understanding of what it is we are comparing ourselves against. If every person in the world were 5'7" tall and weighed 250 lbs the answer to "Why do we hate our bodies" is entirely different in a world where we are all different shapes, sizes and BMIs.
If we were all the same I seriously doubt that anyone would have body image issues. Why would we? But... allow me to suggest that we are all much more similar than we feel we are on a daily basis.
Just do a bit of people watching in a crowded area for about 10 seconds and pay attention to how different we all are. Varying heights, shades of color, weights and shapes.
Now take that same group of people you witnessed outwardly for 1o seconds. Stop to consider the fact that every single person you just witnessed, saw something about themselves they hated when they got dressed that day. Even the ones you consider to be "perfect", all thoroughly hate something about their own body.
That's a powerful commonality, don't you think?
But in common conversation we don't sit around and talk to each other about the skin tags, moles, rolls, stretch marks, discolorations and lumps that plague us about ourselves. Do we? No, that's uncomfortable so we keep it all to ourselves. We never stop to consider that those are the things we all have in common. We all feel that way.
We. All. Feel.
We. All. Feel. The. Same.
We all feel the same things about the same issues that are simply just common to the human experience.
We are not perfect vessels. Our bodies are not manufactured on an assembly line.
So why do we hold ourselves to a singular standard? Why do we spend hours and hours every week to mold and sculpt our bodies to fit a specific ideal? The truth is that the reasons are plentiful and no one answer is the full story. But suffice it to say that we are conditioned to self-shame ourselves to push to a singular standard.
It's a mental game and there is no way to win it.
Indeed there is no one solution to the problem. It is systemic and deeply embedded in our cores. But through Art I have found a way to shift the focus to our commonalities at least as a way to spark conversation and shift it back to the core issues. We all hate our bodies.
Let's start there and see where it leads?